Lightning occurs in order to try to balance the positive and negative electrical charges within a thunderstorm and the earth's surface


Special weather statements will be issued by the NWS if storms pose a significant lightning threat. Some thunderstorms produce much more cloud-to-ground lightning strikes than others. Thunderstorms with vivid lighting are often referred to as "electrical storms". Since all thunderstorms produce lightning, the NWS does not issue lightning warnings nor does lightning play a role in defining a thunderstorm as severe. Any thunderstorm is a potential killer since they generate lightning


1. Stay inside
2. Avoid the use of electrical devices such as phones and computers; unplug sensitive equipment
3. Stay out of the bath or shower


1. The most dangerous place to be during lightning is at the highest point or underneath an object such as a tree that represents a relative high point on the terrain
2. Go inside a sturdy enclosed structure as soon as possible
3. Stay away from water; halt recreational activities in or on water
4. If you feel your hair begin to stand on end, crouch down as low as you can to the ground and with only the toes of your feet contacting the ground. Close your eyes and cover your ear lobes
5. If you take shelter in a vehicle, roll the windows up and do not touch the outer frame of the car. Do not take refuge in a convertible car even if top is on


1. It is erroneously thought that lightning can not strike twice. Lightning often strikes elevated structures (often several times within the same thunderstorm)

2. It is erroneously thought that it is the tires which insulate a person from being affected by lightning when they are in a car. It is the metal frame of the car "Faraday cage" that helps prevent lightning from entering a car

3. It is erroneously thought that lightning can not strike an object unless it is under a thunderstorm. Some lightning bolts (especially positive strokes) can travel many miles horizontally from a storm before they strike the surface. These positive strokes (known as bolts from the blue) are the deadliest form of lightning. If you are close enough to the storm to hear thunder, then you are close enough to get struck

4. It is erroneously thought that the chances of getting struck by lightning will not happen to me because it is as rare as winning the jackpot in the lottery. Those people that often expose themselves to the outdoors during thunderstorms have a good chance of eventually being struck

5. It is erroneously thought that a person should not be touched after they have been struck by lightning because their body carries a strong electric charge. After a person is struck, they should be given medical attention immediately. Lightning can stop the heart. Often a person that is struck by lightning can be revived by CPR